May 20, 2005
Dealing with mental preadolescents every day is enough to make you want to overwrite your primary drive. Or, you know, theirs.
The whinging tones come through loud and clear, even via electronic format. The complete lack of reading comprehension is astonishing in (apparent) adults, causing the chewing of fingernails, obsessive consumption of caffeine, and other nervous habits endemic to my kind.
They want help and yet they are ill-equipped to deal with it, having a lack of both mental acumen and the will to help themselves. Needless to say, this does not endear them to us, despite our basic programming.
May 27, 2005
Stacy: Human Nature
Moon Base Alpha's construction was proceeding nicely. After a disastrous first year, with near 50% casualties, the training had finally caught up with the reality, and now only actual veterans taught the noobs what they needed to know to avoid spacing themselves. It also made for good PR back home, especially when the bleeding hearts in the World Congress screeched about the "cost in human lives".
'Still, the occasional accident will happen,' thought Lancaster, as he pulled the body towards the airlock, again thankful for the 1/8 gravity. The airlock cycled open then closed, and Lancaster returned to duty, whistling.
June 4, 2005
Stacy: Uh Oh
James finished packing his gear and looked warily around the clearing. The cycads and ferns were unmoving in the hot afternoon silence. Even with the perimeter monitors and notated schedules, he still worried about the possibility of a close encounter.
He shouldered his pack and walked toward the port terminal. He had plenty of time before the local predators awoke from their daily siesta, his watch still read one-thirty, earth standard time. Wait...STILL read...
The foliage on the north side of the clearing shuddered, and a russet head poked through, bony head ridges prominent.
Allosaurus atrox, he thought.
June 6, 2005
There was a dull crump from the laboratory. Doors burst open, scientists pelting madly in all directions.
'Nowhere to run,' thought Brighton. He dropped the cutting laser into a wastebin and sauntered through the compound, not caring who noticed. In seventy seconds it would hardly matter who thought what at the Rockwell Fusion Research Labratory.
He found a niche, settled in to watch as the lab building folded in on itself. Decades of research felled by a tiny flaw.
In the millisecond before he died, Brighton noted the green hue of the plasma bubble.
'The color of money,' he thought.
June 26, 2005
James read the memorial plaque again, even though he could recite it by heart:Manhattan Island, once a bastion of commerce, cuisine and fashion, now lies beneath 100 meters of sea water, a tribute to man's folly.
"Stupid memorial," he thought. "Doesn't even tell the real reason why it happened."
He came out here every night, had since it happened, three years ago. As a mechanical engineer, he knew the reason for the island’s submergence, that held no mystery for him.
What really drew him here, night after night, was the single light still shining from the top floor window.
July 12, 2005
Stacy: Doin' Time
We walk around the yard aimlessly, nowhere to go, no place to be. The guards flick their stinger whips at stragglers, keep the herd moving.
Talking is allowed, but most of us have nothing to say. Had it whipped out of us over the years. Newbie up front is a chatterbox. That'll change soon enough.
"You know, I've played the violin all my life," I overheard him say. "I think the thing I miss most, even more than food, is my music."
I laugh to myself. Old man hasn't even been here for a week. He don't know hungry yet.
July 25, 2005
"I'm the Holmes ZX4000," she said haughtily. "I'm the single most expensive construct available on the market today. I'm highly intelligent, flexible, and extensible. I am not the everyday sort of construct, and will not do well at menial chores. I am for special occasions, social events, and important dinners.”
She paused for breath and I checked her price tag. Eleven million, eh? And I bet she didn’t even give head.
She started to speak again, then paused, staring at her hands. “Sale?” she whispered, outraged. “I’m ON SALE?!?”
I checked the tag again. 3.2 million, eh? I’ll take two.
September 12, 2005
"This is not a drill, if you haven't already, take......"
The radio buzzed into silence, along with everything else as the grid went down. There was a distant chuff as generator power kicked in, bringing up emergency lights and environmentals. Faint slamming sounds came to us in the unnatural stillness as the metal shutters slid shut, and then an even fainter buzzing as the perimeter fence came online.
Thad came into the control center as I completed the sensor sweep. I ruffled his nine year old head and smiled reassuringly at him. "No school today, eh, mom?" he piped cheerfully.
September 27, 2006
Stacy: The Researcher
Even with Jupiter’s great bulk out of the way, FTL radio had been hissing static for a week now. When he finally got up enough interest to turn the 15 meter scope towards Earth, he was unsurprised to find the planet shrouded in white, no hint of it's typical blue-green visible. The stations at the LaGrange points were completely dark, no shuttle traffic between them and Luna. Mount Olympus’ relay beacon was likewise silent.
Shrugging to himself, he turned the FTL radio receiver off, pointed the scope back out past the Kuiper belt, and continued his study of Asteroid 134340.
October 19, 2006
Stacy: Hysterical History
He walked down the long drive to their mailbox, whistling. He couldn’t recall when he’d been so happy. His career was hot, and his agent was talking Oscar for his last role. Angie was happy, with her collection of kids. Hell, he loved them, too, even the ones that weren’t his. Yes, life was good.
He opened the mailbox, retrieved the usual junk. A black envelope caught his eye, it’s silver lettering proclaiming it was from Future Fixers, Inc. A sheet of paper inside read:
Save the future… kill your wife.
He shrugged and went off to find the shotgun.
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